Tuesday, December 04, 2012
"Fear Makes Us Fat" by Dr. Richard Gould
"Food craving is a mental phenomena that is really a desire for something else that's buried deep (but safely) in the back of your mind. If you accept this premise (which I believe is fact) then you'll begin to understand what I mean when I say fear makes you fat.
It is the fear of your own "hidden truth" that is the origin of the mental phenomena that creates the cravings.
You are literally too afraid to engage your feelings for fear that they will lead you to a deeper feeling of powerlessness. At that moment in time your mind plays a trick on you. It says, "Go get something to eat, and then you won't have to deal with this unknown fear."
I have been successful with dieting.... FINALLY! Thanks to this website and some really awesome Teams and Spark friends who taught me and motivated me to eat right. I get the scientific side of food. Carbs, Protein, Fat, Exercise. But I was still missing the emotional connection. Dr. Gould's message made me dig deep.
So the question I asked myself is "Did Fear Make Me Fat?"
No doubt, fear is at the root of all things negative in our lives. But as Dr. Gould says, it is so deeply embedded that we don't really know what is behind it. I have tried to link fear and food together and I always come back to fear of not being in control. And why is control so important to me? When I think about the negatives in my childhood it is always of a father who was in complete control of our lives. There was no thinking for yourself, free will to do what we wanted, when we wanted. The farm work always came first. We all had chores. None of my siblings were exempt. We started at a very young age. I remember doing dishes every night on a chair pulled up to the sink because I was too small to reach the sink. It wasn't hard work. Just constant. The constant putting aside what I wanted is what I think of always being there as a child growing up. When we did get some freedom to play, it was such a joy and privilege.
Then there were Thursdays. Mom would go grocery shopping on Thursday and we would get off the bus and race down the lane to get to the candy drawer filled with bags of candy and goodies. Oh what excitement! With five of us kids, it was gone the same day. So somehow as an adult, I associated that with food as a treat and something that will be gone if I don't eat it now. I remember when I left home I was ecstatic because I could eat whatever I wanted! And I did. Gained 20 lbs in no time flat. Was 180lbs at the age of 20. Then I spent the next 35 years depriving myself of eating what I really wanted and used those foods as "treats" and "rewards". Food was now controlling my life. The cycle was embedded in my brain. If I went out with friends to a restaurant, I sooo wanted desert. Not because I was hungry, but because it was there! Just like the candy drawer. And somewhere in the back of my head I was thinking, it will be gone if I don't get it now!
So I think between the two childhood experiences, food has controlled my life, been my joy and my fear. Love to eat. Afraid to eat. Pay the price.
Now that I understand the chemical reactions in the brain from carbs and sugar, I can control my cravings. I have found substitutions for those comfort foods that are just as satisfying and I am content. And if I do eat them, a little bit is satisfying. I have learned moderation. And I am in CONTROL! Do I still fear being controlled..... yes. But it isn't manifested by food. I am free.
I share this with you my Spark friends, because it is so important to figure out our food addiction and what is at the root of it. I don't think the question is "How" did we get fat? but "Why" did we get fat? It certainly isn't because we wanted to! There is an underlying cause. Being over weight isn't just about food. It's about emotions, life experiences, conditioning and habits. So how about you? Is Fear making you Fat?